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The first systematically composed form of brevitas in expression is the laconism (Pl. Prt. 342bc). In Plato's view, it not only consisted of dart-like short phrases and sentences but even more it reflected Spartan philosophy and view of the world. Demetrius (elocutiones 7; 242f.) explains laconic brevitas as: ‘orders are short and sharp’. This corresponds to the brevitas imperatoria of Tac. Hist. 1,18. Plato also provides the first example of philosophical striving for brevitas; in Prot. 329b; 335a-c and Gorg. 449bc Socrates pokes fun at the macrology …

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Calboli, Gualtiero (Bologna), “Brevitas”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 24 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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